Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Player’s Association will start testing for opioid use and cocaine.
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) December 12, 2019
The decision to add opioid testing came after the death of Tyler Skaggs, the Los Angeles Angels pitcher. Skaggs was found dead in his Dallas hotel room back in July. The medical examiner determined the baseball pitcher had died from asphyxiation from a mix of alcohol, fentanyl and oxycodone.
“Players from our side of the equation recognize that there was an opportunity to take a leadership role here in this discussion,” Union Head Tony Clark said. “Players aren’t immune to issues that affect all of us, and so the situation this year only heightened that, brought it even closer to home.” (RELATED: Angels Employee Reportedly Tells DEA He Provided Tyler Skaggs With Oxycodone)
“It is our collective hope that this agreement will help raise public awareness on the risks and dangers of opioid medications,” Deputy Baseball Commissioner Dan Halem added.
The changes will allow for the MLB to test for opioids, synthetic THC, cocaine and fentanyl.
Marijuana-use will now be treated the same as alcohol-use meaning players could be referred to voluntary treatment and mandatory evaluation.